Westminster Farmers’ Market Report from Maple Heights Farm
You Are Making a Difference…
The Westminster Farmers’ Market will be opening on Friday, May 7th! Watch this space and our website for information about a free give-away in the month of May. We already have 20 vendors signed up and I have heard rumors that we will have plenty of asparagus very early in the season! In addition, you will find local meats, cheeses, eggs, artisan breads, and confections. Stop by for a cup of locally roasted coffee and catch up with your friends and neighbors while shopping for the healthiest food available. Try THAT at your big box grocery store!
Dean and Debbie Johnson, along with Ann Patsis, set up a Farmers’ Market table at the Young Children’s Festival a few weeks ago. You can read about it here on our blog!
You may have seen us at the Mount Wachusett Community College Health and Fitness Fair, also a few weeks ago! The fair was well attended and our Farmers’ Market table did attract a lot of attention. I can tell EVERYONE is hungry for fresh garden products this year!
You Are Making a Difference…
I was lucky enough to stalk Scott Soares (Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture) around the state last week, hearing him speak on three separate occasions (marathon week to say the least). He talked a lot about agriculture in Massachusetts and you may be amazed to know that, even during this time of cost-cutting and cutbacks, this economy hasn’t stopped the growth of agriculture. The trend in Massachusetts for farmland loss has been reversed for the time-being. This is because of you! Who? You! Every one of you that thinks it is important enough to read about our markets, shop at our local food outlets (Mass Local Food and Farmers’ Markets), and participate in our local economy! If you think you don’t make a difference, YOU DO! So, I thank you, and please keep doing what you are doing!
Ten Super Foods: Which Do You Eat, Which Should You Add to Your Diet…
In several publications, I have read about the top ten super foods. The lists vary depending upon the publication, but here is one from WebMD that I think is quite good. Try adding one or two of these foods to your diet each day (in place of some processed non-food). Some of them seem to suppress appetite in such a way that you are not hungry long before mealtimes. Each has incredible health benefits and can help get you a step away from processed foods. Some of these super foods are extremely convenient to eat on the go! Click on the link above for the nutritious reasons that you should eat these foods. I’ll give you reasons why they make your life easier!
Yogurt: Serve with some berries (I am using cherries that Meghan and I canned last summer) topped with yogurt and sprinkled with a whole grain granola. This tastes more like a dessert than a lunch, but it has staying power and packs a lot of nutrition into your day. And, packing a thermos of this delight is easier than stopping at your favorite fast-food station when you are on the road.
Eggs: Go for the local farm-raised and get your Omega-3s the natural way. This must be one of the most versatile foods in the world. We love Andy’s “roll-up omelets” which require some work, but there is nothing easier than tucking in a hardboiled egg into a school lunch snack. See if you can find the green, Americana eggs for added excitement!
Nuts: If I eat an ounce of almonds at breakfast time, I can usually make it through to lunch without eating. The only other thing that has such staying power for me is non-instant oatmeal. This is a great snack to keep in your car for those days that you forget to eat breakfast (usually every time I have to leave the house early in the morning). Just know what one serving is, and stick to that amount.
Kiwis: We don’t buy many of these, probably about 15 per year. They are not local enough for me, though we do enjoy them. We eat apples from a local orchard (with occasional oranges and bananas) in the winter, and then whatever is in season throughout the remainder of the year. We have been so enjoying our fruits and berries that we canned last summer that I plan to spend a lot more time on that project this summer.
Whole Grains including quinoa, barley, oats, buckwheat, wild rice and millet: Whenever you overindulge on sugar and junk (like on Easter), indulge in quick or old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast for the next few days. I strongly believe that it keeps you strong by absorbing all the junk that you don’t need. For those of you addicted to sugar, it can really help you break the cravings! I don’t know why, but try it. Just don’t load it up with sugar. Try stirring in some peanut butter (without trans-fat) and a tiny sprinkle of maple syrup.
Beans: Eat them. All types. This versatile food can be served in so many ways that there is no excuse to say you don’t like them.
Salmon: We avoid farm-raised. It is my belief that farm-raised, corn fed salmon probably looses its Omega-3 benefits as Omega-3s typically come from grasses (and kelp) that animals ingest. Take those away and you really have something that is not natural. Remember, in the words of Michael Pollen, “You are what what you eat eats too”.
Broccoli: If you don’t like broccoli, just go down to your local garden center and buy six plants. Put them in your garden and baby them for two weeks until they get a foothold. Mulch around them so they don’t get choked by weeds. When you have flower heads, eat them, and then tell me you don’t like broccoli! No vegetable garden? Grow them in among your flower garden.
Orange Vegetables including Squash, Carrots and Sweet Potato: carrots all summer and into the fall, squash and pumpkins through the winter.
Berries including blueberries and cranberries: grow your own, or pick your own. Too good to pass up.
Visit our Westminster Farmers’ Market website…
The Westminster Farmers’ Market website is being updated with vendors for the 2010 season. Visit for ideas on how you can help the farmers’ market, participate as a vendor, or get information on our schedule for the season. Visit us at www.WestminsterFarmersMarket.com.
Maple Heights Farm…
At Maple Heights Farm, we are well stocked with meat. Our products are available either through Mass Local Food (I’ve finally listed my crackers for those that have been waiting) or by pre-ordering by email. You can see our complete inventory on our website.